Having a fever from time to time is normal. Fevers are especially common in children although adults can also get them. A fever is a body temperature that is higher than what is considered normal. An average body temperature is around 37 degrees Celsius, and anything higher than this may be viewed as a fever. Fever on its own is usually not dangerous, and if left alone, it can go away on its own. However, often a fever indicates the presence of an illness that may require immediate medical attention. Various things can cause a rise in body temperature including teething and immunizations in children; inflammatory diseases, extreme sunburn, food poisoning, common infections like flu, and some antibiotics. It is essential to know the cause of a fever as such will form the basis for treatment of the fever and any other underlying illness. Fevers are considered more dangerous in children than in adults. It is, therefore, advisable to seek medical attention as soon as your baby or child starts exhibiting fever symptoms.
When to see the doctor?
As mentioned earlier on, fevers almost always go away on their own. However, there are times that you need to seek medical attention. Seek medical care if your child has a fever and;
- is restless
- has no or poor eye contact
- has a fever for more than three days
- is irritable, listless and vomits,
- has a headache, stomach or any other symptom that causes discomfort
- has recently been in high-risk areas like rural areas with high malaria prevalence
- has been recently immunized
- has throat swelling
- has abdominal pain
- becomes sensitive to light
- has stiff and painful neck
- has muscle weakness
- is drowsy
- has a seizure or convulses.
If an adult has fever, seek medical attention when you have;
- seizures or convulsions
- persistent vomiting
- becomes unusually sensitive to light
- has mental confusion
- has difficulties in breathing
- has chest pain
- experiences neck pain or neck becomes stiff
- develops a skin rash that worsens rapidly
- has a severe headache
When to go to the ER
Again, a fever can be an indication of a severe and sometimes life-threatening medical condition like pneumonia or even meningitis. Therefore, for infants and young children, it is always essential to ensure that you see a doctor even when you think it is “just” fever. You need to go to the Emergency Care if your child has temperature and;
- Is drowsy
- Develops a rash that rapidly worsens
- Has fever that lasts more than three days
- Losses appetite and is not able to maintain eye contact
- Becomes dehydrated
- Becomes very irritable and fussy
- Experiences persistent vomiting
In short, a fever can be that first sign of a serious underlying medical condition that needs immediate medical attention. Therefore, it is critical to first try to determine the cause of the fever then seek appropriate medical care. When it comes to children, it is even more imperative that you take immediate action and such might be the difference between the health of your child or fatality.
Why go to the ER for fever?
- To alleviate discomfort. Fever on its own is not dangerous, and treatment is only sort to relieve the pain or discomfort that comes with it. Once you are in the ER, you or your child with a fever will be given medication first to lower the body temperature and possibly relief the discomfort. Other procedures are taken after that.
- To determine any underlying medical condition. Again, it is important to take note of any other symptom accompanying the fever as such is critical in determining the possible cause of the fever. Some of the things you need to tell the ER team when you visit include what you suspect to be the cause of the fever, the patient’s medical history, any allergies, any medication the patient is using, any recent immunizations, and even recent travels. These details are important as they can help the medics come up with the most probable cause of the fever. Going to the ER can help you pinpoint a medical condition that you or your child is suffering and thereby access medication for it in good time.
- To evade fatality. The ER might be a very busy on a 24/7 basis, but this does not prevent you from accessing its services at any time of need. In fact, in as much as it may seem the unnecessary inconvenience, it is better always to be safe than be sorry later. How busy the ER is should not be your worry, your worry should on be your health and the health of those you love.
If your child’s body temperature is abnormally high, it is very crucial to take immediate action and visit the ER. In the ER, your child will be assessed and evaluated and if need be, given proper medication to treat the fever and any underlying medical attention. You should visit the Emergency clinic Near you as soon as possible because at times a little wait can be very costly.